mmediately after Vespa opened its website for online booking of new models, the orders overwhelmed the Piaggio organization. Vespa Elettrica orders were about 10 times what the the company’s sales department expected. There is a meaning in all that; people realize the battery-powered electric scooter is much more functional than a battery-powered electric car. Given range and recharging time limitations, primarily the electric vehicle should be a zippy urban commuter.
Vespa’s Elettrica responds to this kind of mission very competently. Its 4.2-kW/h pack of lithium-ion batteries recharges in about four hours from an household socket, and in eco mode (2-kilowatt power) ensures a range of about 60 miles, in full mode (4-kilowatt power) will go half of that.
At EICMA, the Vespa Elettrica was there also in its X, sequential-hybrid version that uses a small thermal engine to drive a generator that keeps the (smaller) battery pack duly recharged to travel 120 miles on a 0.8-gallon tank. Vespa Elettrica X will go in production sometime in 2019.
Vespa is the real stronghold of the whole Piaggio Group, and, in fact, the company keeps investing on its legendary scooter. This time it is the larger version, the GTS, that receives a shot of extra horsepower thanks to the substantial upgrading of the 278cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine. Dubbed the 300 HPE, the unit now delivers a claimed 23.8 hp at 8,250 rpm with 19.2 pound-feet peak torque at 5,250 rpm. This makes the new GTS 300 HPE the most powerful Vespa ever. The whole powertrain has been duly upgraded also in its CVT transmission and related automatic centrifugal clutch. This should make the new GTS 300 HPE rather quick, and fun, through traffic. The Vespa GTS 300 HPE is offered in a number of variations, the richest being the SuperTech, featuring an exclusive 4.3-inch TFT full-color instrumentation display.